Playhouse tickets for 2014-15
Season packages: start at $90 for four shows and run to $210 adults, $130 students for nine regular-season shows plus a November performance of “A Christmas Carol.”
Single tickets for musicals: $40 adults, $25 students.
Single tickets for plays: $36 adults, $22 students.
» Most group rates are rising $1 to $3 per ticket.
» Student rates for single tickets are also up $1.
» Adult single tickets, “A Christmas Carol” group rates and all “Yesterday and Today” tickets remain the same.
Information: 402-553-0800 or omahaplayhouse.com
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Contemporary musicals “The Drowsy Chaperone” and “Spamalot” will bookend the Omaha Community Playhouse's 90th season, which opens Aug. 15.
The Playhouse's professional touring arm, the Nebraska Theatre Caravan, will bring the musical “Little Women” to the Hawks Mainstage in midwinter, and Andrew Lloyd Webber's “Jesus Christ Superstar” will play there over the Lenten season. The smaller Howard Drew Theatre will stage “Hands on a Hardbody,” a contemporary musical about hard-luck Texans trying to win a pickup truck, starting Feb. 13.
Add the annual holiday productions of the musically infused “A Christmas Carol” and Billy McGuigan's Beatles tribute “Yesterday and Today,” and this is the most musical season at the Playhouse in some time. The main stage will continue to be home for traditional family entertainment, while the Drew hosts more cutting-edge, adult works.
The Caravan is reclaiming a spot in the mainstage season that fell victim to budget cuts in 2005. Caravan tours of “A Christmas Carol” have continued, and last month a national Caravan tour of “The Fantasticks” was launched. “Little Women” may tour nationally in 2017.
This will be the first Playhouse season for incoming artistic director Hilary Adams, who will direct “The Drowsy Chaperone” and “Hands on a Hardbody.” Adams arrives from New York City in May and begins as artistic director in July. Longtime directors Carl Beck and Susan Baer Collins, who are retiring in June, helped the theater's play-reading committee choose the 90th season. Collins will guest-direct “Little Women” and co-direct “A Christmas Carol” with Adams and others.
“I'm lucky to be inheriting such a well-constructed 90th season,” Adams said. Crowd pleasers like “Superstar” and “Spamalot” are balanced by more challenging nonmusical plays like “Enron” and “The Whipping Man,” she said. She sees balance as well in contemporary works and classics, such as Edward Albee's “Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf,” in the Drew in May.
Beck said guest directors' contracts are not yet signed. The list will include both local and out-of-town names. The Playhouse has not yet chosen a full-time replacement for Collins.
Hawks Mainstage season:
“The Drowsy Chaperone,” Sept. 12 through Oct. 12. A musical-theater superfan invites us into his home to share his favorite musical comedy from the 1920s. As he comments on the soundtrack, the show materializes. Winner of five Tonys, it opened on Broadway in 2006. Music and lyrics by Lisa Lambert, Greg Morrison. Book by Bob Martin, Don McKellar.
“A Christmas Carol,” Nov. 21 through Dec. 23. The late Charles Jones' adaptation of Dickens, with musical arrangements by John Bennett, gets its 39th annual run.
“Little Women,” Jan. 23 through Feb. 22, 2015. The Caravan brings to life this Civil War-era musical based on Louisa May Alcott's classic novel. It had a brief Broadway run in 2005. Mother and daughters cope while father is at war. Music by Jason Howland, lyrics by Mindi Dickstein, book by Allan Knee.
“Jesus Christ Superstar,” March 6 through April 4, 2015. Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's 1971 rock opera chronicles Jesus' last seven days on earth. A groundbreaking musical whose hits include “I Don't Know How to Love Him,” “Everything's Alright” and the title song.
“I Hate Hamlet,” April 17 through May 10, 2015. An aspiring actor lands the role but hates Shakespeare's play. The ghost of John Barrymore haunts him as he prepares for the opening. This comedy with swordplay by Paul Rudnick (“Jeffrey”) opened on Broadway in April 1991.
“Spamalot,” May 29 through June 28, 2015. A best-musical Tony winner in 2005, this off-the-wall show based on “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” overflows with King Arthur-era humor. Lyrics and book by Eric Idle, music by Idle and John Du Prez.
Drew Theatre season:
“Enron,” Aug. 15 through Sept. 14. Lucy Prebble's satirical, savage 2010 comedy revisits a corporate collapse of huge proportions — and that company once called Omaha home. The play sheds light on crooked business practices. Adult content, strong language.
“The Whipping Man,” Oct. 17 through Nov. 16. At the end of the Civil War, a wounded Jewish Confederate soldier returns to his devastated home. His family has fled, leaving two former slaves. Tied by faith and secrets, the three mark Passover together. A 2011 off-Broadway hit by Matthew Lopez. Adult content, strong language.
“Yesterday and Today,” Dec. 5 through 31. Billy McGuigan's Beatles revue gets its seventh annual run, and audiences pick the playlist.
“Hands on a Hardbody,” Feb. 13 through March 22, 2015. Hard-luck Texans vie to win a Nissan Hardbody pickup truck. Whoever can keep his hand on the truck the longest wins. Book by Doug Wright (“I Am My Own Wife,” “Grey Gardens”). Music by Trey Anastasio, Amanda Green. Brief Broadway run in 2013. Some strong language.
“Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?,” May 8 through June 7, 2015. Edward Albee's Tony-winning 1963 drama became an Oscar-winning 1966 movie. As George and Martha's marriage crumbles, new friends Nick and Honey become pawns in a cruel mind game. Adult content, strong language.